Tag Archives: Gellibrand Point

Fossil Cove posting 1 of 4

On the day when I walked from Blackman’s Bay to Point Pearson near Tinderbox, then retraced my steps to catch a return bus from Blackman’s Bay, I omitted to walk via Fossil Cove. The pathway to this secluded rock strewn cove required a detour of over 2 kilometres. Since my day’s walk to the mouth of the Derwent River on the western shore and return was expected to be over 20 kms, I resolved at the time to return on another occasion to walk this section.

I was delighted when I finally ‘discovered’ what locals and others have known for a long while.

A couple of kilometres along Tinderbox Road after leaving suburban Blackmans Bay, Fossil Cove Drive is clearly marked.  Around a kilometre down that road, a sign indicates the way to the beach.

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A further sign declares this area to be a public reserve and a site of national geological significance.

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The steep descent to the Cove was controlled by steps and dirt pathways.

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I was dazzled by views across to Opossum Bay and Gellibrand Point on the eastern shore of the Derwent River.

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Finally I arrived at sea/river level.

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Nature is cheaper than therapy

A Californian fiction writer M.P. Zarrella offered the opinion ‘nature is cheaper than therapy’.  Since then, her point of view has spawned posters, cushion covers, and T shirts such as:

Nature cheaper than therapy  and tshirt nature its cheaper than therapy

The use of this comment spread until people couldn’t help themselves …

facebook cheaper than therapy and Beer is cheaper than therapy

Thinking about whether nature is cheaper (with the inference of ‘better’ than therapy), I have been inspired to trawl through my walking-the-derwent photos.

Here are a few favourite natural scenes clicked during Stages 1-6 of my walks along the eastern shore of the Derwent River.  Most of these images spent time as my computer screen background where they lifted my spirits daily.

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Iron Pot off the southern end of South Arm peninsula

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Driftwood beach shack on Pot Bay Beach, South Arm peninsula

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Mount Wellington across the Derwent River from South Arm Beach

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Looking northwards into the gigantic Derwent Harbour from Gellibrand Point at the northern end of the South Arm peninsula.

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Looking uphill from Trywork Point

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Lichen on rocks at Tranmere Point

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Little Howrah Beach

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Looking southwards along Bellerive Beach

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The suburb of Sandy Bay across the Derwent River through the casuarina trees from Rosny Point

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Tranquil Geilston Bay looking toward Mount Wellington

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Bedlam Walls Point

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Shag Bay

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Native flowers in the East Risdon State Reserve

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Tommys Bight

Whenever the weather is deteriorating outside my window, by looking at these photographs from the first 6 of 14 walking stages, I ‘revisit’ the various locations and feel most uplifted. No therapy needed here.

Mount Nelson Signal Station

Overlooking the centre of the city of Hobart and with a view sweeping across to the eastern shore of the Derwent River, Mount Nelson is host to a significant historical site, the Mount Nelson Signal Station.

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Wikipedia provides the information that originally this rise in the landscape was named ‘Nelson’s Hill’ after botanist David Nelson, who sailed on the ship ‘Bounty’ which visited Van Diemens Land on its way to Tahiti (the ship that was involved in the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty). In geological form, Mount Nelson amounts to not much more than a low foothill, however its name gives an indication that something grand awaits you if you venture to the top.

And such a visit is easy in a vehicle, or if you want to take an uphill walk from Hobart’s suburb of Sandy Bay.  In addition, the Mount Nelson via Dynnyrne and Tolmans Hill Metro bus service can deliver you to your destination.  If you like walking, you might choose to catch a bus to the top and then follow any one of a number of clearly marked tracks downhill. Yesterday I made a visit thanks to blog follower Je’s transport, accompanied by another follower Be who is visiting from Cairns.

From different vantage points, the spectacle of the Derwent River spread out below, made us breathless with delight. When I am walking at ground level along the Derwent River, the grand panoramas extending into the distance are denied me.  But yesterday it was exciting to see the bays and hills further afield.

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The photo above looks toward the mouth of the Derwent River on the eastern shore. South Arm peninsula can be seen extending along the water.  As  I stood on Mount Nelson I could clearly identify the Iron Pot, Fort Direction Hill, South Arm Beach, Opossum Bay and its beach, and  Gellibrand Point all of which I walked on during Stage 1 and 2 of my walk along the Derwent River.

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The photo above shows the eastern shore of the Derwent River with Gellibrand Point to the right on the northern tip of the South Arm peninsula. Then the great gaping space of Ralph’s Bay appeared straight ahead. To the left of the image, Trywork Point is in view; this was the starting point for Stage 3 of my walk (after I had walked there from the suburb of Tranmere).

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The photo above shows Ralphs Bay to the right, Trywork Point and then the suburb of Tranmere to the left – on the eastern shore of the Derwent River.

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The photo above shows the eastern shore from Tranmere on the right, through the suburbs of Howrah to Bellerive on the left – the River edges which I walked during Stages 4 and 5.

Across the parkland at the Mount Nelson Signal Station, native Wrens flitted around feeling safe as they hunted for insect meals on the ground.

I enjoyed looking at information panels on the site and learning more about how the place operated.  In addition, one panel showed the location of walking tracks.

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So … what is the history? Not long after Hobart was settled in the early 1800s, locals needed speedy and efficient communication between the convict settlement at Port Arthur and Hobart.  In addition, Hobart residents wanted foreknowledge of sailing ships approaching from the ocean through Storm Bay and on their way to the Derwent River in case any provided a threat to trade or security. To gather this information, in 1811 the Mount Nelson Signal Station was established and designed to use semaphore.  The method of communication was flags waving across the hills.  Details about the semaphore flag signalling system can be read at http://www.anbg.gov.au/flags/semaphore.html.  The site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semaphore_line provides further information. At the Mount Nelson Signal Station, flags were run up a pole – this seems a very cumbersome process compared to a person waving flags. I hope that someday the signal station will offer a demonstration to the public so I can understand the process.  Give me a re-enactment please.

This semaphore communication service continued in use until a more reliable system was available (what happened at the Signal Station on windy days, in wet weather and when clouds obscured the view?).   It was not until 1880 that a telephone line connected Hobart and Mount Nelson.

Walking around the area is free of charge.  Some pathways are provided. The site has various public amenities including picnic tables, public toilets, carpark, barbecues and a restaurant.

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For further information about eating in the heritage building pictured above, go to http://www.signalstation.com.au.  I recommend that you phone in advance if you are depending on eating there. Yesterday, despite permanent signs indicating the Brasserie was open, another sign on the building indicated it was closed.

During my visit, clouds loomed powerfully over the city and river. The day light was so bright and strong that when I turned northwards and photographed the land and riverscapes, the sky glowed white.  So I clicked a few images pointed at the sky and this silhouetted the landscape.  Using my simple mobile phone as camera, I was never able to control the light of the images.

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Although these looked like rain clouds, it did not rain.  These large puffs were just passing through.

Onto the ‘proper’ Alum Cliffs track near Taroona Tasmania

After walking across the Shot Tower carpark I had one last look back to where I had been. The sky was amazing.

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In the trees then and often further again along the track, Kookaburra birds laughed at me many times. Ha Ha Ha Ha!  Ha Ha Ha! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.  Their feathers camouflaged perfectly with the shadows from leaves and the colours of tree trunks and branches.  They were impossible to photograph. Ha Ha Ha Ha!  Ha Ha Ha!

A sign seen at 10.08am indicated the start of the Alum Cliffs track.

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Then I began the careful descent on a steep 100 metres or so length of a four wheel drive wide smooth gravel track. Partly eroded. Basic stairs were irregularly constructed on one side of this incline.  Bush either side.  A small wallaby surprised me bouncing through the undergrowth.

At 10.15 am I reached the creek crossing below. Peaceful.  Looking up, an even longer climb on the other side was rather dispiriting. On the trek uphill I stopped and sat for a while to take in the view of dense gum tree foliage. There were smooth gum trunks as far as the eye could see.  No wind. Trickling creek below. Peaceful.   As I walked higher, the Shot Tower came into view bit by bit over the trees.

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It was 10.33am when I reached a picnic table and lookout at the top of the Alum Cliffs.

Passing white crowned toadstools with sharp white gills when open, I walked along a shady path which was quiet except for the occasional birdsong, rustling water in the creek below, or the soft voices of other walkers. I learnt from one of the walkers that the Alum Cliffs track used to follow the edge and in order to cross creek gullies, ropes were installed up and down the cliff to steady yourself during the climbs.  Part of those walks included rock hopping along the shoreline as well.

At 10.45am I reached the turn-off to Taronga Road – I did not want to exit the Cliff walk so I continued on. At 10.53am I reached the junction with the Brickfields Track – another time I will return to this area and walk that track to look at the remains of any social history along the way.

A few minutes afterwards, I felt I was identifying exposed alum rock.  I decided it was the rock which had partly oxidised into a greenish colour in places. Whether or not it is the real deal I cannot say.

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Despite tree roots and rocks intruding on this track, the well-trodden dirt with a slight leaf covering made for very easy walking.  Off to the side of the track walking would not have been quick and easy.

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I loved the colours on gum tree trunks as bark peeled away naturally.

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I loved seeing the signs of insects which once burrowed their way under the tree bark.

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At 11.07am I reached a seat with a viewing platform from where I watched an oil tanker motoring up the Derwent, having passed Gellibrand Point on the eastern shore.

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It was a long way down to the River over the Cliffs.

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Then I walked some way with another walker until I needed to stop and start with notetaking and the clicking of photographs.  I continued down across another creek and stopped when I noticed the clay at the bottom.  My earlier research/posting had indicated a connection between the alum rock and clay.

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The track passed through a tiny wet forest area with green pronged tree ferns.  Back up onto a drier track I reached a picnic table at 11.26am. Nearby, a teepee of tree branches and leaves had been built casually.  Would it be better than no shelter in a rainy storm?  Not too sure how long the ‘tent’ would survive much wind.

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Walking past native flowers; pink heath, lots of yellow tiny daisy like flowers, and a delicate 5 petal lavender blue coloured solitary flower.

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I passed smaller tracks off to the left which ended by hovering over the edge of the Cliff, and some to the right which I imagine found their way back into suburbia or onto the Channel Highway.

A glossy scarlet red spider, black legs with a blue iridescent tail crossed my path.  I have never seen one before and knew nothing until I researched once back home; this was Nicodamidae –Red and Black Spider.  Apparently, ‘toxicity unknown, treat with caution’.  Trust me – I didn’t touch it.  The size was that of a woman’s finger nail.

Not long after chatting with a man and his dog, at 11.40am through the trees I could see bits and pieces of Kingston Beach.  My trek across the Alum Cliffs was almost over.

Wandella Avenue to the Shot Tower, Tasmania

My previous posting explained that the first part of my Stage 12 walk along the Derwent River took me to Wandella Ave but then I retraced some steps and took an Alum Cliff-side disused track, which ultimately resulted in my returning to Wandella Avenue.

So – when you walk from Hinsby Beach and the track arrives at Wandella Ave, turn left, walk for a short while and then turn right into Baringa Rd (the signpost for this is missing). Continue walking around and uphill until you reach the junction with the Channel Highway. I reached there at 9.44am

Nearby was bus stop 32.

I enjoyed soaking in the view across the Derwent River where I could see Gellibrand Point and Opossum Bay.

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Further down the River, South Arm and Fort Direction Hill were visible at the mouth of the Derwent on the eastern shore.

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I turned left onto the Channel Highway (which has no footpath) and was able, for some metres, to walk inside a guard rail and then later on a narrow gravel verge with traffic streaming by.  At 9.50 am I was passing the sign indicating this was the Huon Trail Touring Route.

In the bush which I had clambered through earlier and now as I walked along the road, I was concerned to see an exotic which has escaped and been self-seeding rapidly everywhere.  I don’t know the name of the plant but from experience in my own garden, I know it grows fast and furiously into a medium sized plant with a purple pea flower. I did pull out some of the smaller plants and with the moist soil the roots came out as well.  But there were thousands of plants and continuing my walk was the greater priority, so I stopped pulling.

Further up the road, I could see the top of the Shot Tower above the trees.

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Before long I was standing outside the Shot Tower complex. The time was 10.05am.

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The person manning the souvenir shop and entrance to the Tower gave me a booklet with all the tracks and walks in the Kingborough area, and he pointed out a nearby gum tree just over a rise. ‘That’s where the Alum Cliffs track starts’, he told me. He felt sure the Kingborough Council were ready to build the final part of the Alum Cliffs track from the Shot Tower to Hinsby Beach so I guess we wait and see what progress is made in the months to come.  However, it does seem the track won’t be marked out close to the Cliff edges on that northern part.

On my list of things to do in the future will be to return to the Shot Tower to take the walk up the many stairs and look out over where I have walked. The cost is only $8 including the opportunity to watch an interpretative DVD. The Shot Tower site includes a shop, museum, carpark and public toilets.  Plus the fabulous view!

From Hinsby Beach to Blackmans Bay accomplished on Stage 12 yesterday

The goal of my walk along the Derwent River for Stage 12 was to start at my last stopping point, Bus Stop 30 on the Channel Highway at Taroona on the western shore of the Derwent River, and continue to Blackmans Bay in the local government area of Kingborough.  I did not get as far as expected, but I was satisfied when I finished 2/3 of the way along the Blackman’s Bay Beach.

Over future posts, I will write up the stories of the walk, what I saw and what I experienced, but for now it’s enough to say that I am continuing with this massive project to walk both sides of the Derwent between the mouth and Bridgewater, and then onwards to Lake St Clair.

Yesterday I covered 5 ¾ kilometres of the length of the Derwent River on the western shore (making 35 3/4 kms in total on the western shore), and walked approximately 11 kilometres (making a total of 154 kms to date) to achieve that distance; there were a lot of steep ascents and descents.

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This distance also takes in the streets and paths on which I walked that led to dead ends so that I needed to retrace my footsteps.

The highlights of the walk include finding a way through some of the early part of the almost untracked Alum Cliffs, the delightful walk along the tracked part of the Alum Cliffs, meeting some friendly people along the way, the unusual snake sign at Tyndall Beach, stopping for a long cup of tea in Kingston with a friend, my discovery of another tucked away beach – Boronia Beach, and the Blackmans Bay Blowhole.

There are many memorable images but my favourite for today is one of my photos of mussels growing on the rocks at Boronia Beach.  I have already made it my desktop background image. When enlarged, the blues glow.

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Fundamentally the Stage 12 walk was about forest and water.

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The day started with my being roughly opposite Gellibrand Point at the northern tip of South Arm and finishing opposite the long South Arm Beach.

I intend my next walk will start from where I left off at Blackmans Bay and then continue into the Tinderbox area to Fossil Cove.  But before then I need to record the details of yesterday’s walk.  So Stage 13 will be a while away.

Taroona’s coastline as experienced on Stage 11 of my walk along the Derwent River

The last leg of this Stage was the most interesting because I made discoveries which delighted me deeply.

At 12.18pm, I left my Channel Highway resting spot and walked downhill toward the people-free Taroona High School (closed for school holidays). Close to the bottom of the hill I could see the tops of boathouses and a ‘beach’ to my right so I took a dogleg to Melinga Place on my right and continued downhill.

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I didn’t know this existed. Mostly a rocky shore, a little sand, edged by a mown green lawn.  Serene.  Across the Derwent River, I could see Gellibrand Point at the north of the South Arm peninsula.

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Walking southwards it wasn’t long before I entered the foreshore bushland on an easy-to-walk dirt track.

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Later I found this had a name: the Taroona Foreshore Track. At one point the ‘track’ passed over a ‘beach’ of shells and rocks then returned to dirt and rose up over areas raised above the water.

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An onshore breeze kept me moving.  Every so often, steep trails descended to the rocky shore but I realised that staying on the track would be more comfortable than rock hopping the edge of the River.

When I walked through a grove of trees that were obviously different, I was delighted to read an information panel which informed me this was an “unusual and isolated stand of blackwoods.  Acacia melanoxylon.”  The species is also known as Sally wattle, lightwood, hickory, mudgerabah, Tasmanian blackwood or black wattle. Their rough bark seemed as if it would flake off in small pieces but it was toughly attached.

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At 12.46pm I looked back northward and could still see the boathouses near the High School.

Looking back to boathouses below Taroona HS

A couple of minutes later I reached Crayfish Point where I noticed craypot markers bobbing in the Derwent River as evidence that fishing for crayfish/lobster was taking place.  However, a sign seemed to indicate this was part of fisheries research by the University of Tasmania.

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Brilliant orange lichen sprawled across some of the rocks.  Huge Pied Cormorants rested on rocks with water lapping at their feet.  This was one of those brilliant days when all the superlatives in the world seem inadequate.

It was near here that an information panel enlightened me about some of the native vegetation.  Now I can identify not only Pigface which I love, but also Bower Spinach and Grey Saltbush. Why I didn’t take photos of the real thing while I was walking I cannot say. Daft!  So I have Googled for images:  If you type in Bower Spinach Tasmania Images, up comes a suite of pictures showing this fleshy leaved plant.  Try something similar to find images of the softly grey coloured Grey Saltbush.

When I reached the start of Taroona Beach at 12.53pm, I looked up the hill and in the distance I could see the Shot Tower that had been built in 1870 (the Shot Tower, a major tourist attraction, is normally accessible from the Channel Highway).

The Batchelor’s Grave Historic Site, just above the foreshore of Taroona Beach, was a surprise.  Wikipedia provides the information that this is “the grave of a young sailor, Joseph Batchelor, who died on the sailing ship Venus in the Derwent Estuary in 1810, and was buried ashore on 28 January 1810. It is reputed to be the oldest European grave in Tasmania”. I am amazed at this idea.  I cannot imagine that many Europeans didn’t die and were buried in Van Diemens Land before 1810 – however, maybe this is the only stone grave marker left from early in the 19th century.

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Taroona Beach is backed by Taroona Park with pleasant picnicking facilities and public toilets.

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I left at 1.06pm and walked along Niree Parade for a couple of minutes until the Taroona Foreshore Track restarted.

Within moments I arrived at Hinsby Beach, which was the find of the day as far as I am concerned. Isolated.  Small.  Tree edged. Calm.  Small wave break.  A few boathouses.  A family beach with a few swimmers and sun bathers.  Located at the end of the River edge before the steep Alum Cliffs which flow for 3 or four kilometres to Kingston.

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I soaked in the atmosphere before starting uphill on a public access walkway at 1.22pm, under shady bushes with lush surrounding ground cover. The track connected to the bottom of Hinsby Road. At the top of Hinsby Road the Channel Highway flowed by. As I arrived at bus stop 30 at 1.36pm, a Metro bus came by on which I made the trip back into Hobart. Half an hour later I was in the city and ready to make the bus trip back home in Bellerive.  I walked in the door at 2.40pm after an exhilarating day when my feet didn’t want to carry me, but I insisted and they persisted. This really is a wonderful part of the world.

Blinking Billy Point, Lower Sandy Bay next to the Derwent River

Continuing Stage 11 of my walk along the Derwent River, I walked the foreshore from Long Beach towards Blinking Billy Point. Looking northwards, the crescent of Long Beach stretched before me.

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I passed a new set of public toilets around 10am and ten minutes later I was walking around Blinking Billy Point.

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This was an area to which Charles Darwin (http://www.biography.com/people/charles-darwin-9266433) walked from Sullivans Cove (my starting point for this Stage of the walk) in February 1836. The area’s local government has remembered the occasion with an information plaque.

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Out in the water is a marker for water craft: the John Garrow Light (established in 1953).  I have known this was a marker used in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race but I had never known where it was located.  Now I know: almost east of the Blinking Billy old lighthouse.  According to http://www.maritimetas.org/sites/all/files/maritime/nautical_news_winter_2002.pdf, John Garrow was a Sandy Bay pastry-cook, who lived in Bath St. Battery Point and died 1924. This begs the question – how did a nautical navigation tool come to be named after someone that seemingly had no connection with the Derwent?

I noticed that the Point has old defence structures embedded in the cliff. I learned that these were an adjunct to the huge hill behind with the remnants of the 19th century Alexandra Battery.

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Looking down the Derwent River through the glitter of the distance to the eastern shore, I could pick out Trywork Point (the southernmost tip of land before Ralphs Bay begins) and Gellibrand Point (the northern most point of the South Arm peninsula) both providing the ‘gateposts’ to Ralphs Bay. Previously, I explored these distant Points on Stage 2 and 3 of my walk.

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Then I looked back to Long Beach from Blinking Billy Point with Mount Wellington in the distance. How peaceful the world seemed.

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Despite the promises of a short beach in Geography Bay after the Blinking Billy Point, I knew better than to have expectations that continuing my walk on the foreshore was possible. The Sandy Bay Foreshore Track finishes at Blinking Billy Point.

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Some years ago a friend and I tried to walk the rocky shore southwards from Blinking Billy Point but, as the tide came in, there came a moment when we couldn’t move forward or backwards.  I remembered we scrambled up through someone’s property; the people were not at home and we let ourselves out onto the street hoping no alarm systems would be alerted. We were lucky that day.

Based on that memory, I knew it was not worth proceeding any further and retraced my steps around Blinking Billy Point until I could walk up to Sandy Bay Road.

Yesterday I walked Stage 11 from Hunter St in Hobart city to Hinsby Beach south of Taroona

The goal of my walk along the Derwent River for Stage 11 was to start at my last stopping point, Hunter St at the wharf in Hobart on the western shore of the Derwent River, and continue to Kingston in the local government area of Kingborough.  But I did not get that far.  My feet said enough was enough once I found the delightful and almost hidden Hinsby Beach.

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Over future posts, I will write up the stories of the walk, what I saw and what I experienced, but for now it’s enough to say that I am continuing with this massive project to walk both sides of the Derwent between the mouth and Bridgewater, and then onwards to Lake St Clair.

The day was sunny with a bright blue sky, Mount Wellington was clear, and a cool breeze featured through much of the day – making it perfect walking weather.

Yesterday I covered 8 kilometres of the length of the Derwent River on the western shore (making 30 kms in total on the western shore), and walked approximately 13kilometres (making a total of 143 kms to date) to achieve that distance. This distance also takes in the streets and paths on which I walked that led to dead ends so that I needed to retrace my footsteps.

The highlights of the walk include discovering the road next to Taroona High School is a public access route which took me down to the Derwent River to a row of colourful boathouses, getting off the main road at places like Cartwright Park Reserve, and seeing the Alum Cliffs in all their majesty.  My next walk will start along the top of these.

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It was a revelation to watch the eastern shore and to see the suburbs and beaches on which I walked in the early stages of my walk. The day started with my being roughly opposite Bellerive and finished with my being opposite Gellibrand Point at the northern tip of South Arm.  The photo below, taken from Hinsby Beach, looks across the Derwent River to Opossum Bay Beach.

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I intend my next walk will start from Hinsby Beach and continue to Blackmans Bay.  But before then I need to record the details of yesterday’s walk.  So my walk for Stage 12 could be a week or more away.

A surprising connection, with an earlier stage of my walk, was discovered unexpectedly

On Stage 2 of my walk along the Derwent River, I hunted for and located on the South Arm peninsula the burial vault of William Gellibrand, one of Van Diemens Land’s first settlers in the early 1800s.  Readers of my blog may recall photos such as:

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After William Gellibrand’s residency, the land at that northern end of the peninsula was named Gellibrand Point. The photo below looks down onto Gellibrand Point.

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This evening I went to a music concert in a church with a powerful and large pipe organ.  While sitting floating in and out of absorption in the romantic organ music, I cast my eyes around the old church. My eyes passed languidly over a plaque attached high on a wall, then swivelled back in surprise. This was William Gellibrand’s white marble memorial plaque.  After the concert I took a closer look.

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When I read that the plaque came from the Chapel, I wondered which Chapel. The internet has given me the answer.

The short story is that the Chapel was built on the Brisbane and Elizabeth St corner site of Hobart in the 1832, Gellibrand died in 1840 and a memorial plaque was installed in the Chapel. When the new church was built in 1872, the plaque was relocated. Seven years later the organ was installed and since then it has been rebuilt a couple of times. Tonight, the audience of pipe organ devotees were presented with a concert of examples of the work of Moeran, Darke, Lemmens, Delius, Manet and Andriessen.

From the website: https://fergusonandurie.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/26-07-1872-memorial-uniting-congregational-church-elizabeth-and-brisbane-streets-hobart-tasmania-2,  I learned that the current “church was to be known as the ‘Memorial Congregational Church’ in memory of the first Independent or Congregational minister, the Reverend Frederick Miller who arrived in Van Diemens Land in 1830. The very first chapel on the site was funded solely by him at a cost of £500 and opened on the 20th April 1832.”

The website also explained that “The foundation stone of the Memorial Independent Church was laid on the corner of Elizabeth and Brisbane streets in Hobart on the 16th August 1870 and was formally opened on Thursday 7th November 1872. In late July 1872 the stained glass windows for the church arrived from the Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon stained glass company of Melbourne and were promptly erected.”  You can see, on this website, photographs of the colourful glass windows.

A document located at http://www.ohta.org.au/gaz/GAZETTEER-OF-TASMANIAN-PIPE-ORGANSOctober2007.pdf provided the following information about the pipe organ: “MEMORIAL UNITING (CONGREGATIONAL) CHURCH, Brisbane Street. B. 1879 George Fincham; reb. 1936 & enl. 1939 Geo. Fincham & Sons (addition of choir organ). Reb. 1992 Gibbs & Thomson.“

It seems there have been many variations in the church’s name.  Currently this church is known as The Korean Full Gospel Church. The hospitality shown by the Korean pastor, his wife and other Koreans was exceptionally friendly and generous and so I had a rich experience with unexpected findings.

Kingston Beach, Tasmania

I found a tiny laneway, squeezed between residential properties, which extended from Roslyn Avenue near where I was staying in Kingston, down to Kingston Beach.  The downward stroll took 6 minutes and, later, the return trundle uphill took 10 minutes.  The easy accessibility to the beautiful foreshore is an asset for locals.  I loved the closeness of the lush vegetation along the pathway and then the openness of the Beach extending before me once I reached the Esplanade.

The morning was overcast with a moderate breeze, but the weather did not deter families, groups of children or a kayaker from enjoying the beach and water.

In the photo below the lone kayaker sets off to enjoy a paddle. The land which can be seen across the Derwent River is the South Arm peninsula. Standing on Kingston Beach, I could identify key points along that piece of land which I had walked during Stage 1 and 2: Gellibrand Point, Opossum Bay, South Arm, and Fort Direction Hill.

Kayaker

I followed a path along the foreshore northwards to Browns River and then I retraced my steps. Looking towards the mouth of Browns River as it enters the Derwent River.

Pathway along Derwent at KB

At Browns River, one side of Mount Wellington looms in the distance.

end of Kingston beach road

Kingston Beach and Browns River are located within the municipality of Kingborough as part of the Greater Hobart Area. In the photo below the waters of Browns River can be seen meeting the Derwent River.

Sign

Nearby I discovered a plaque (photo below) and its message surprised me. Browns River was named in 1804 (you can read more about Robert Brown at https://www.forestrytas.com.au/assets/0000/0185/tasfor_12_10.pdf).  From the reports of my earlier walks in this blog, you might recall that Risdon Cove was established as the first white/non indigenous settlement (on the eastern shore, and quite a few kilometres upstream from the mouth of the Derwent River) in September 1803. I find it quite extraordinary that within months of the first white settlement (in fact Brown named the River in April 1804), despite the difficulties of making a new home in this foreign land, new arrivals were off and about checking and naming other edges of the Derwent River. It wasn’t until July 1804 that the area around Sullivans Cove (the site for the central part of the current city of Hobart) was set up for permanent residency. Sullivans Cove is much much closer to Browns River than Risdon Cove, so Brown had a long way to paddle.

Browns River plaque

The photo below looks back towards the centre of Kingston Beach from the Browns River northern end.

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I loved the trees and was especially impressed by one of the flowering gum trees next to the foreshore walkway.

gum blossom

The stroll from the one end of Kingston Beach to the other takes about 15-20 minutes and represents approximately 1 kilometre of the Derwent River’s length.  Immensely pleasant.  If you haven’t enjoyed this part of the Greater Hobart Area, or it’s a while since you have travelled here, then I strongly recommend you make a visit.

Fish and chip shops, cafes, a sad looking motel and Duncan’s Beachfront Motel Hotel are located across from the beach.  Some readers might know Slim Dusty’s song ‘I’d like to have a drink with Duncan’ (refer to http://www.lyrics007.com/Slim%20Dusty%20Lyrics/Duncan%20Lyrics.html for more information). Jo will recall the hilarious fiasco at a fashion parade in Darwin when this music coincided with a bridal dress being shown on the cat walk.  I wonder who Kingston’s pub is named after? Anyone know?

shops and cyclists  Motel  Duncans pub

Along the street travelling away from the beach towards Hobart, you will pass an assortment of outlets including hair salons, service stations, a community hall and, very surprisingly, the Wafu Works which is a shop selling vintage authentic Japanese fabrics.

Japanese Wafu Works  Japanese fabric shop

Simple street art in the form of inset mosaic panels have been incorporated in the pavements.

Mosaic in pavement  Street mosaic in pavement

This part of Greater Hobart is very attractive, and I am vowing to visit more often.

I am on holiday watching over the Derwent River

Yesterday afternoon I left home, for a week, to live in a unit above Kingston Beach which overlooks the wide expanse of the Derwent  Harbour in Tasmania’s south east.

In future, I will walk along the edge of the Derwent River below as part of my stroll along the Derwent from the eastern shore mouth to the western shore mouth and then from Granton to the source.  Here I am located very close to the mouth on the western shore. I feel tempted to walk the last kilometres this week, and then go back to Berriedale and walk the remaining distance to Kingston. The weather and Christmas commitments will influence the decision.

I am living in a leafy suburb where the rain has pattered through most of the night.  The ground is moist, the air is clean, and the vegetation looks delightfully healthy. This morning, despite slight drizzle, I have taken photos from and around where I am living to give me a sense of place.

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The water and the air over the Derwent River are pale and silvery. The sky and water blend softly over disappearing hills so that they all seem to slip from my eyes. Details are scant. Focusing is difficult.  It is not surprising that the photo below shows no water detail.

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Last night in the evening’s continuing light (today is the longest day of the year) I looked across the Derwent River and could identify the land on which I walked in parts of the first three stages of my walk.  The entrance to Ralphs Bay is marked by Trywork Point to the north and Gellibrand Point in the south stands proud at the northern end of the South Arm peninsula. I can see the northern parts of the suburb of Opossum Bay and, further south, the hill above Fort Direction intrudes into the light wispy sky.

Today is the sort of day when ‘you can leave your hat on’ (rain hat that is) and I am enjoying my holiday so much that I have been ‘singing out of key’ around the place … thanks Jo Cocker. Devotees will remember Jo Cocker’s fourth album was titled “I can stand a little rain”.  Bring it on!

Walking Howrah and Bellerive Beaches on Stage 4 of my walk along the Derwent River

On arrival on Howrah Beach, I chose not to deviate to the Shoreline Shopping Centre, having no desire for shopping and because the fresh air and walking experience was such a joy. The long Howrah Beach was almost deserted, however occasionally happy dogs and mostly happy owners were enjoying themselves; I am never sure who is taking who for a walk.  I was fascinated by the man who declared he was deaf and then told me his dog was deaf, yet they both seemed to communicate well and understand each other.

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The photo above shows the stretch ahead of me as I started along Howrah Beach. The photo below shows the Beach when I had walked half its length.

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The sky gathered clouds, and the onshore breeze cooled the air as I walked. Before long I reached Second Bluff at the end of the Howrah Beach, and walked up and along the gravel pathway around this headland. At both the southern and northern ends of Second Bluff it is easily possible to walk off towards roads and, in the distance, to reach the main connecting route, Clarence Street, along which buses run regularly.

While walking around this Bluff, I passed some large Australian native Leptospermum trees in full flower; their snow-white petals presented a spectacular display.  Off and on I noticed bright bursts of fleshy native pigface acting as ground cover, with its purple-pink flowers made brilliant by the sunlight. I was afforded spectacular views back to Howrah, Tranmere, Droughty Hill, across the opening of Ralph’s Bay, and of Gellibrand Point and Fort Hill on the South Arm peninsula.

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Once I reached the Bellerive Beach stairs, I descended and took my walk towards the northern end of the Beach over a kilometre away.

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From time to time tall white poles with red tops are positioned along the beach to indicate walkways to the Clarence Foreshore Trail behind the dunes and then the roads and suburban houses of Bellerive.

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Bellerive Beach is much frequented by fitness fanatics, walkers, joggers, kids, families, individuals, and dogs on leads with owners.  The clean sand, the tide moving the Derwent up and down the beach, and the startling prominence of Mount Wellington are always welcome.

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Near the far end of the Bellerive Beach, a massive structure looms above a row of tall pine trees. This is Blundstone Arena, once known as the Bellerive Cricket Ground. This sportsground, as a national venue for international and local cricket games in the summer, also hosts major AFL (Australian Rules Football) and state level games during the winter months. Between Blundstone Arena and the beach are public toilets along the edge of the Clarence Foreshore Trail.

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Further on and next to the Trail, an outdoor adult gym inspires beach visitors and picnickers to push and pull and otherwise move their bodies.  From here you can see a blue and white painted building standing prominently.

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This is Bellerive Beach’s Fish Bar where fresh fish and other seafood is battered or crumbed and cooked while patrons wait. Dining in or taking away are the two options; the weather and wind generally controls whether I take a fresh cooked meal and sit on the edge of the beach with friends. I live in Bellerive and so I know very well this Beach and all the delights which it offers.

On this walk as usual, I brought my own packed lunch so I passed the Fish Bar and sat towards the end of the beach, and munched and contemplated the leisurely activity of others. A simple pleasure amidst the flighty flashing of hungry squawking silver gulls, all expecting to be fed.

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Stage 4 of the walk along the Derwent River will happen tomorrow

Tomorrow, Friday 26th September will be marked by my fourth walk along the Derwent River.  The first two stages were on the South Arm Peninsula from Cape Direction to Gellibrand Point, and the third walk covered a little territory from Trywork Point to mid Tranmere. Tomorrow I will take up where I left off. This means I will be taking the Metro bus, number 615 which leaves the Hobart City Bus Mall at 8.23am for Camelot Park and travels through Bellerive and Howrah to bus stop 31, the starting point for the walk. The direction I will take will be northwards through the last part of the suburb or Tranmere and into Howrah. My intention is to walk the length of the Howrah Beach, then the Bellerive Beach and beyond. The weather and my feet will be the factors controlling the distance.  There is a 10% chance of rain so I will be unlucky if any drops fall while I am out and about.  All in all this means it should be a great day for anyone to be out and about and enjoying our gorgeous spring weather.

Stage 3 On the way to Trywork Point along the Derwent River 20 September 2014 Posting 2 of 6

It was 9.13 am when I got off the bus at Tranmere (that is, a 25 minute bus ride from the Hobart city centre) and I was ready to walk but unsure which route to take.  My first idea was to walk up some side streets hoping their ends would be in open paddocks which I could walk across. I can now tell you not to walk up Norla St or Spinnaker Crescent to the locked gates and fences,

Top of Norla St- gates blocking progress

unless you want to appreciate the fabulous views of the River and beyond. At 9.45 am I was back down onto Oceana Drive near its southern end where the Crescent makes its connection.

The sealed bitumen road of Oceana Drive quickly changes into a gravel road. Then across my path a padlocked gate and a barbed wire fence that descends towards the River, effectively blocked my progress.  The tiny yellow sign glowed in the sunlight: Keep out private property.

Ahead of me on the other side of the gate, a car track wound into the distance and then disappeared into a gully. On the crest of the distant hill sat a forest of casuarina trees. Before these trees, and across the hill, golden grasses rippled when the wind blew onshore.  The sky was blue.

Sometimes there is a correct way and an incorrect way to go about doing things.

My intention has always been to provide directions for people who would like to follow in my footsteps and so if I was to describe a way that cannot be repeated, then I would mislead you. It is sufficient to say that I went the wrong way but returned the right way.  Yes yes yes. You guessed it.  I jumped that gate onto private property and continued on with plovers wheeling overhead all the while trying to protect their little bird that ran in terror into the tussocky grass. 20140920_095305

In a later posting I will describe how to walk to Trywork Point without walking on private land.

It is clear that someone is currently subdividing this land and I guess that new blocks of land will be offered for sale at some time in the future. Once this happens, then the land will be opened up and become accessible. Well-worn single file cattle tracks, evidenced by hoof marks and weathered cow pats, ranged through this land. Everything was dry and disintegrating so that I didn’t believe a herd had passed along these tracks recently.

I reached a new fence with a prominent sign on the other side: This is NOT public land.  Uphill the fence stopped in the middle of nowhere so I continued across the hill towards the forest of Casuarina trees.  I was careful that the short tussocky grass and the occasional hidden rock didn’t roll and sprain my ankles.

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Once into the trees, and dodging low branches, I followed meandering tracks all the while making sure the Derwent River remained clearly on my right. Throughout today’s walk occasionally and unexpectedly rusty pieces of fencing wire wanted to trip me up and harm me, so constant vigilance was required to avoid these dangers.

Before long and once out of the trees, a wonderful vision of The Spit and Gellibrand Point on the South Arm peninsula greeted me. Between me and Trywork Point was an ocean of moving grasses. Golden. Shimmering. Glorious. Winds sweeping. Isolation.  Silver Gulls floated overhead.

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In the photo above, the two small green trees at the bottom of the hill mark Trywork Point. Gellibrand Point is on the left across the water. The dark blue represents the huge expanse of the Derwent River’s grand harbour.

The cattle hadn’t made tracks down to Trywork Point so I thumped my own path down through the tussocks and occasional scrawny remnants of rose bushes. Eventually I arrived and unfortunately disturbed a pair of Dominican Gulls who seemed to ‘own’ the rocky point. I couldn’t see evidence that people had been here in a long while.

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The photo above is the rocky edge of Trywork Point, with Gellibrand Point on the South Arm peninsula in the distance.

When I looked eastward towards Droughty Point, a headland at some distance inside Ralph’s Bay, I was surprised to see before the point was reached, a small secluded sandy beach.

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Between the beach and Droughty Point, a healthy herd of red brown cattle rested and munched comfortably on an area of luscious looking green grass.  I guess they are the beef steaks of the future.